New prefabricated homes to be built in Huntingdon will provide social housing for town

Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House in Huntingdon.

Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House in Huntingdon. - Credit: ARCHANT

A new housing development on land which was once part of the Huntingdon campus of Cambridge Regional College will be used for social housing.

The 56 homes, which have just been given detailed approval by Huntingdonshire District Council, will be split between two thirds social rent and the rest for shared ownership and rent to buy.
They are being built by the Longhurst Group, an independent charitable registered provider of social housing, and will come in prefabricated form with much of the construction taking place off site.

Longhurst said in its planning application that modern construction techniques offset the poor reputation of post-war prefabricated homes, including the use of sustainably sourced timber, construction in a highly controlled environment where high quality workmanship can be achieved, together with rapid building.

It said the homes had been influenced by “impressive” prefabricated houses in Godmanchester which were now Grade II listed.

The district council approved the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the development on what had been a brownfield site as part of the college, off California Road.
The site, which includes an area of car park, unused land and an office and nursery, is surplus to college requirements and is now owned by Longhurst. 

In its application Longhurst said: “Within Huntingdonshire there has been an under delivery of affordable housing as set out within the Huntingdonshire Objectively Assessed Housing Need (2017) report and this application should be considered in this context.”

It said: “The proposed scheme satisfies local and national planning policy with respect to the provision of affordable housing. This site benefits the surrounding area, offering a well-thought out design and contributes positively, both in design style and numbers to the delivery of affordable housing in Huntingdonshire.”

The Longhurst Group is one of the largest housing groups in the Midlands and East of England, providing more than 23,000 homes and delivering a wide range of care and support services across 50 local authority areas.